Exemplary Care Providers

Kjell Benson, MD

I’d like to nominate Dr. Kjell Benson for an excellent diagnostic catch. He recently saw a middle-aged woman for an acute visit who was complaining of right lower quadrant pain for 1 day as well as vomiting. Dr. Benson noted an absence of bowel sounds in the area on physical exam and recommended urgent evaluation in the ER based on history and exam. In the ER, the patient was found to have a large mass similar in size to a watermelon in her abdomen and was transferred to a front range hospital for urgent workup and surgical removal. She has now been seen in follow-up and is doing fairly well, but this may not have been the case without Dr. Benson’s excellent exam and diagnostic skills. Thanks for the great care you provide Dr. Benson, we are proud to have you as part of our team. 

–Matt Percy, MD, Co-Chief Medical Officer, Rifle Site Medical Director

The Glenwood Springs Team

It takes a village, and you were there for us.

Thank you very much for taking such good care of our daughter, Sophia, and making a very traumatic time as calming as it could be with the best of care, warmth, and attention from the moment we stepped in the door on Tuesday afternoon.

Sophia had a hard fall ice skating at the Glenwood Rec Center, also taking me down fully.  Most unfortunately, my skate nicked her knee, and it was deep and bleeding badly.  I rushed her from the rec center to our Glenwood Springs Integrated Health Center.  From the moment we walked in the door during this emergency, we were cared for holistically and professionally by the whole team.

Daisy checked us in confidently for this unplanned visit to see if she could fit us in, and somehow we were able to see Kaitlyn after a brief wait.  Amairani checked Sophia in and led us to the exam room.  We were lucky to have Wynette and Addie stop in to assist (and Addie found a great ducky lego for Sophia) in addition to her nursing skills.  Kaitlyn spoke calmly and got down to Sophia’s level explaining everything.  Sophia was very terrified of getting stitches, but we were just taking it “step by step” to see what was needed.  Kaitlyn knew if was going to be three stitches, and Adam was able to double check as well and helped sew her up.  Sophia was screaming, but everyone was so calming around us and helped us get through a tough time.

After the numbing spray and the sutures, Sophia was very happy and wanted to hug everyone for being so helpful.  As we had to wear masks, we could not do so this time, but I assured we could come back one day when masks won’t be required.

In lieu of a hug, Sophia made a thank you poster for you all that she wanted to share. 

Reyna checked us out with a smile.  I was also able to get expert after care advice from Kaitlyn who called me the following day.

Sophia is on the mend, although she is walking around a bit like Ahab from Moby Dick for now! Thank you all for everything you do, one patient at a time with grace, love, and expert care. 

–Jan and Sophia Jennings

The Edwards/Avon Team

Not many are aware of ALL of the bumps in the road that the Edwards Team navigated around during the end of December and throughout January.  During all of it, there was only one day that we didn’t have patient care.  Between telehealth and sitting on folding chairs in Edwards, patients saw their providers.  While I was tending to the logistics of construction hurdles and moving furniture, teams, and equipment, Dr Kent was constantly focused on patient access and care.  When learning we would not be opening on time, he and I talked about options then he and Dr. Roques executed an action plan.  They borrowed a bed from Howard Head, went to Avon, and gathered the equipment we needed.  The MA’s who were here everyday packing, moving, unpacking, and doing it all over again, also made trips to Avon to grab what we needed and brought back to Edwards for the week’s appointments.   They took turns working from home to cover task boxes until we were prepared to work in Edwards again.

There is one day in particular I want to highlight.  It was a Thursday and my day started at 6:15am with a call from the General Contractor that we were looking at another week or 2 of waiting, thus pushing back our Grand Opening.  In the midst of the 100 phone calls that stemmed from that conversation was a text from my Lead, Jovita, “Dr. Kent got into a car accident on his way back checking on a patient at Vail Health, his car’s ok, Melissa just happened to be here with her baby for an appointment so the MA’s are watching the baby now, and Melissa is seeing his patients until Dr. Kent gets here.”  Dr. Kent left a car accident and came straight back to the clinic for his team and patients. 

Zack hates public acknowledgement; however, I want to acknowledge him anyway AND the rest of the medical providers and their MA’s this month.  Everyone in Edwards in all departments are what makes this clinic great. This month in particular, this part of the team went above and beyond, and I would like to honor their hard work and dedication to this community.

A special shout out to Elaena for multiple trips out here getting internet and hotspots set up and to Marija for changing schedules during the gray area of not being allowed to access work stuff in Avon.

Our schedules went from Avon to Telehealth to Avon and back to Edwards… then in the 11th hour… back to Avon…  We cannot acknowledge the maneuvering and patient care we were able to provide without acknowledging the call center and specifically Laritza Valencia who was on the phone with me multiple times a day as we finessed the schedules over and over and over again.   

So I am nominating Zack Kent, Maria Roques, Melissa Meyer, Deb Burns, Claudia Morales, Nancy Pacheco, Bianca Blanco, Jovita Pineda, and Laritza Valencia… This was the ultimate team building experience and you all came together and proved when united you are unstoppable.

Thank you for everything you do and everything you are. Eagle County is better because you are here.

–Amanda Canete, Avon Site Practice Director